This is Part 2 of a guest post by Jaclyn Heyen about her wonderful life full-timing on a Harley and towing a Tear Drop trailer. You can follow her blog here: http://www.jhblueroad.com/
Now, back to the story. I own my bike and home so the only bills I have are student loans and insurance for the bike and trailer. I will, unfortunately, be paying on the student loans for the rest of my life but other than that I am way ahead of others in my age group. I don’t have a house payment, electric, water and basic living bills. I don’t have the enormous amount of medical bills I had for the treatment of depression. No more medications, doctor, psychiatrist, psychologist visits, support groups or the occasional in-patient stays.
In the two and a half years I have been living differently I have spent around $200 for a place to stay. A campground someone recommended and a couple hotels during bad weather. Once from multiple days of riding in triple digit temps in the west and once when I got caught in severe thunderstorm weather in southern Minnesota. I had planned to stay at Walmart, but after being stuck in the back of the store for 45 minutes because of a tornado warning while my bike fell over from the winds still attached to the trailer so the front leg of the trailer bent, decided it was a good night for a hotel since more bad weather was on the way. This also includes 3 weeks in China and Thailand this last fall. I didn’t get to bring my rig but got the trip by helping a friend bring over his two toddlers to China. In China and Thailand I mostly did couch surfing with a couple of days in hostels. I also got to ride a motorcycle in both China and Thailand.
Each year on the road I do things a little differently. The first year was trying to figure out how exactly this was going to work traveling from job to job. The second year I did a lot of traveling hitting 32 states, living at Walmarts across the country, with a trip to China and Thailand. This year I decided to take it a bit slower, stay on more BLM/Public lands, and stay in an area for a few days to a week. My life words for 2015: “I’ll be wherever, whenever I get there.”
I live very minimally. I don’t have running water, bathroom, refrigeration but I seem to have all I need. I carry a few gallons of water, Pocket Rocket hiking burner, and my friend recently gave me a pot to piss in. Haha…
But seriously, quite helpful in busy BLM lands. Get a Pocket Rocket from Amazon here: MSR Pocket-Rocket Stove
I have a solar panel which charges my electronics, gives me light and keeps my fan working on hot days. The only reason I have a cell phone is that my parents insisted and have me on their plan. I do have a MiFi for Internet, pay as you go, but don’t use it as much as I use to. I instead go to public libraries a few times a week. Each library is a bit different. Some are very catering to the traveler and have open Internet and study rooms where you can charge everything. Some have weird rules like no charging of electronics or no backpacks or even needing a library card to get the Internet password.
People assume living on the road means living alone and having no roots. I have deep roots on the road and am constantly around people. I meet up with RVers, bikers, friends and family as I travel. Each year there are more people in a growing network of people who I have made my road family. Recently, I had to put my dogs, my travel buddies, to sleep and thought I would be completely alone on the road. I have spent more time in 2015 with friends than being alone.
Two and a half years later I am the happiest I have ever been. Living in TicTac has been the longest I have lived in one home since I moved out of my parent’s house at 18. I have met so many wonderful people on the road I now call family and friend. I look back on my life before the road and what a difference a life of simplicity makes. I laugh every day… I have little stress… I am social… Yes, this fly on the wall is now, more times than not, the center of attention. I constantly have people stopping by to ask about my “rig” and taking picture of me and my rig. It is rare when I can sit outside TicTac and not have someone stare or stop to ask questions. Some days it is enjoyable having people stop by but some days I hide to have some time to myself.
My life isn’t for everyone but it works for me. I may not have a lot of money but I am rich in people, scenery and life.